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zztush
01-27-2017, 10:34 PM
This time I want to talk about D and Bb tuning.

Jake Shimabukuro plays tenor and Ohta-san plays soprano. Of course their tuning is C in usual. It is C instrument (instrument which key is C). Imagine they gave their ukuleles to your friend. And your friend wanted to tune it in Bb and D. How do you explain them to stay C? I think I would explain that Jake and Ohta-san plays C, C must be good tuning for these ukulele. This is a case with Jake and Ohta-san.

If your friend told you that they wanted to change their tuning into D or Bb, can you explain why it wrong is? This time their ukuleles are their own ukulele, not the presents from Jake or Ohta-san. Actually it is bit hard. Because if they wanted such tuning, their knowledge and experience may be very low. We need to explain it with very basic knowledge. It is like explaining to primary school student. Ok, I try it.

https://s19.postimg.org/4zp8dfy83/combine_images3.png (https://postimg.org/image/anvj4c2kf/)how do i print screen (https://postimage.org/app.php)

Even a primary school student knows harmonica. I use harmonica for this explanation this time. I play blues harp. There are 12 harps by 12 keys. We use C harp for key of C song (this is only 1st position, I don't talk 2nd and 3rd positions here). It is very easy to play key of C song on key of C harp. But it is hard to play it on key of D or Bb. I play blues harp, but I can not play C major scale on D or Bb (see the figure above). And even a best players play C song better on C than D or Bb. Playability links to better sound. Same things happens on ukulele.

https://s19.postimg.org/87tpqhkhv/combine_images2.png (https://postimg.org/image/5dqkd1ibj/)pic host (https://postimage.org/)

They may ask me this. But D tuning sounds better than C tuning. But this time, they should check C chord on D tuning and C chord on C tuning. They should not just compare D on D and C on C.

dhbailey
01-27-2017, 11:52 PM
One way to explain it is that any/all chords can be played on a uke tuned in the traditional C tuning, so songs in any key can be played.

Another way to explain it is that tuning to D would put more stress on the neck and bridge/belly of the uke. Tuning a string instrument higher than it is constructed to support can lead to serious issues such as warping of the belly, or bending of the neck so that intonation and tone are compromised. Similarly, tuning an instrument a whole step below what it is designed for can result in softer/weaker sound, and the placement of the frets might not give good intonation for different keys from what the instrument is built for.

Having explained all that to your friend, let him follow his own ideas and try things out -- if he's happy with the change and the sound tuned to the different keys, let him be with it. You'll have done all you can and if it makes him happy, great.

Shimmy
01-28-2017, 12:34 AM
Tuning and string tension are entirely unrelated. Just pick the proper gauges.
And tenor ukes where originally designed for Bb tuning anyway, that's why they are called tenors.

The names of the ukes refer to the range of the human voice:

Soprano: C
Tenor: Bb
Alto: A
Baritone: G

geetee
01-28-2017, 01:23 AM
Uh-oh. Someone needs to tell James Hill, he's doing it wrong.

Shimmy
01-28-2017, 01:44 AM
Hill uses mostly low A tuning, which is also a good tuning for tenor.
Above, I was refering to reentrant.

Guitars and Ukuleles are often tuned to what's convenient, not what gets the best out of the instrument.
Jake Shimabukuro years back used "G Bb F A" tuning ("Dragon"). He thought it sounded great, but he stopped, because he felt he lost connection with the ukulele base that way.

zztush
01-28-2017, 02:38 AM
Thank you very much guys!

I see it is bit difficult to explain the advantage of C tuning to primary school student.

daviddecom
01-28-2017, 10:55 AM
There is one sense in which a ukulele really is a C instrument---it's non-transposing, unlike a lot of wind instruments.

That doesn't really have any bearing, however, on whether C tuning is inherently better for the ukulele. I will say that, coming from the violin family, it is a little surprising that soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles are standardly tuned to the same tuning. I will also note that Baroque specialists typically tune about a half-step below A 440 (and sometimes even lower)---they still think of their violins, e.g., as GDAE, but to the modern ear, they sound as G-flat D-flat A-flat E-flat.

zztush
01-28-2017, 11:19 AM
There is one sense in which a ukulele really is a C instrument---it's non-transposing, unlike a lot of wind instruments.

Hi, David! Thank you again for the reply!

This is interesting point. But if you don't admit that Viola is C instrument and Violin is G instrument, we can not discuss this. Or even if you don't admit that piano is C instrument, we can not.

This thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122701-Which-key-is-easy-to-play) show you the reason of C instrument, although the thread was written for anther plot.

Jim Hanks
01-28-2017, 12:10 PM
There is one sense in which a ukulele really is a C instrument---it's non-transposing, unlike a lot of wind instruments.

Sorry, that's wrong. I treat all my ukes as a transposing instrument. If it's Bb tenor, i can read off a Bb trumpet chart and use the C chord shapes. If it's Eb cuatro, I can read off a Eb alto sax chart and still use the C chord. Etc.

If you want all your ukes tuned to C, fine, that's your choice. But saying that's "the only way" or even "the best way" is simply an expression of opinion, not a fact.

ubulele
01-28-2017, 12:26 PM
Sorry, that's wrong. I treat all my ukes as a transposing instrument. If it's Bb tenor, i can read off a Bb trumpet chart and use the C chord shapes. If it's Eb cuatro, I can read off a Eb alto sax chart and still use the C chord. Etc.

In your sense, any instrument can be treated as a transposing instrument. But David is absolutely correct in saying that uke is a non-transposing instrument as the term is normally applied—it is not the convention that music for uke is written in a different key than it is intended to sound.

Jim Hanks
01-28-2017, 04:01 PM
In your sense, any instrument can be treated as a transposing instrument.
Yes! My point exactly!


But David is absolutely correct in saying that uke is a non-transposing instrument as the term is normally applied—it is not the convention that music for uke is written in a different key than it is intended to sound.
Ok, I get that point. Same as guitar although with guitar it is more common to have written music with "capo at 2" (or whatever) which is treating it as a transposing instrument in the conventional sense.

daviddecom
01-28-2017, 06:11 PM
The viola is a C instrument in the same sense as the ukulele or piano (i.e., non-transposing), but in that sense, so is the violin. I'm not sure what you mean when you say the violin is a G instrument.

daviddecom
01-28-2017, 06:43 PM
Thanks---I did indeed just mean to point out that there was a narrow sense in which the ukulele is a C instrument. I definitely didn't mean that that should have any bearing on how anyone chooses to tune theirs.

When violinists use scordatura, they typically notate as it's played rather than as it sounds. So, for example, Paganini wrote his first violin concerto in E-flat but notated the solo part as if it were in D and just tuned his violin up a half step, which sounds like what you're doing with your ukulele in B-flat or E-flat.

David

zztush
01-28-2017, 09:39 PM
Hi, Bill! Thank you for the reply!

I wanted to explain why C tuning easy is to primary school student in this thread? Is that right? I don't say C is the only tuning on ukulele.

C is easiest key on the music sheet. And We can play it easy on C instruments. If it were D, we can play it is easy and sound nice on D instruments. I have already explain it with harmonica. It may be the easiest explanation for primary school student.

https://s24.postimg.org/57k5qbi3p/key_signatures.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/jqrarqb8h/)photo storage (https://postimage.org/)

zztush
01-28-2017, 09:48 PM
The viola is a C instrument in the same sense as the ukulele or piano (i.e., non-transposing), but in that sense, so is the violin. I'm not sure what you mean when you say the violin is a G instrument.

Thanks you reply David!

Could you read this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124675-Ukulele-guitar-viola-and-violin)?

We have once talked about that in this forum.

jollyboy
01-29-2017, 03:49 AM
Okay, I'm gonna jump in cos I'm getting steadily more confused by this thread as time goes on :)

What I think I'm hearing is that (in a nutshell) on a ukulele tuned GCEA it's easy to play songs in the key of C, because the chord shapes are easier to form. Honestly that doesn't seem like such a huge revelation :p

What I'm not understanding is why that supposedly means that it's bad to tune your uke to a different key. If I tune my uke A, D, F#, B then it becomes easier (following the logic of the original argument) to play songs in the key of D.

To revisit the blues harp analogy - if I were a professional player I would have a bunch of different harps, all in different keys and I would select the harp that would allow me to play in the key I wanted to play in at any given moment. So, why shouldn't I have a bunch of ukes, all in different tunings, and just use the same shapes to play in different keys. And, in fact, George Formby, who couldn't read music, did exactly that.

I rest my case :)

Patrick Madsen
01-29-2017, 04:00 AM
I must be missing something when it comes to playing a blues harmonica. Guys I used to play in a band with would use an A when we played in E key; a C when we played in G key etc.

jollyboy
01-29-2017, 04:04 AM
I must be missing something when it comes to playing a blues harmonica. Guys I used to play in a band with would use an A when we played in E key; a C when we played in G key etc.

Yeah the original example is a bit confusing as first position wouldn't really be used to play blues. Still - the one harp, one key thing does hold water.

ukatee
01-29-2017, 05:01 AM
.... But if you don't admit that Viola is C instrument and Violin is G instrument, we can not discuss this. Or even if you don't admit that piano is C instrument, we can not.


I am a violinist, playing in several amateur orchestras, and can assure you that we do NOT think of them as being G or C instruments. It's true that it is easier to play in sharp keys than flat, and also sound brighter because there is more natural resonance to be had from the open strings, but that's all. They are not transposing instruments, i.e. the music is written at the pitch they play. It's nonsense to say they are in G or C just because that is the pitch of the bottom string.

I've never heard the piano described as being in C either, for good reason - it plays in any key. Although for beginners the key of C seems easier as it does not use the 'black' notes, it is technically easier to play in 5 sharps or flats as the actual notes on the keyboard lie better under the shape of the hand. That's why so much of Chopin's music, for example, has lots of sharps or flats. A long time ago when I was really quite good at the piano, I found it much easier to play a C# major scale evenly than a C major one. Mind you, sight-reading in C# maj was more daunting!

zztush
01-29-2017, 09:12 AM
Thank you very much jollyboy and ukatee

Ukatee, tuning is like this.

https://s30.postimg.org/fbs1s2mkx/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/gqtmgsnnx/)image post (https://postimage.org/)

We normally tune them in this way in order to get maximum harmony in strings instruments. The idea is that string instruments can be tuned perfect way hence we tune them in perfect relationships. Therefore we normally do not have imperfect in-between tunings. F is perfect 4th from C but do not work with G in this system, F and G are not perfect relationship. By the way, in this thread I just want to explain the advantage of C tuning to primary school students.

daviddecom
01-29-2017, 10:52 AM
Hi zztush,

I think there's a little bit of putting the cart before the horse here. It is indeed slightly easier to play in D and A on a violin in standard tuning, just as it is slightly easier to play in C and F on a ukulele in standard tuning. But that doesn't mean that these tunings are somehow inherent to the violin or the ukulele.

As I pointed out earlier in this thread, Baroque specialists standardly tune to a 415hz A (and sometimes even lower), which means that the open strings on a Baroque violin sound to the modern ear as G-flat, D-flat, A-flat, and E-flat. But these violins work just fine in that tuning. Similarly, if people want to tune their ukuleles a whole step lower or a whole step higher, I don't see any coherent argument yet that they shouldn't.

Of course, an actual specific instrument might well sound better in one tuning than another---for example, most of the great 18th century violins have been modified from their original form, largely to allow for higher tension but also, presumably, higher pitch. And modern instruments built for Baroque performance practice are built slightly differently from those intended for modern performance practice (although much of the difference has more to do with comfort for playing without a chin rest).

But, in any case, violins have had centuries to be optimized for specific tuning and still admit of a fair degree of latitude. I suspect that most ukuleles are far less optimized.

With regard to the point of explaining to primary school students the advantage of C tuning, I guess the two most obvious advantages are: (1) it's what most people use, so there are more resources for learning with C tuning and it's easier to play with others; and (2) for those still learning to read music, the keys that are easy to play in C tuning have fewer accidentals.

David

zztush
01-29-2017, 11:32 AM
Thank you David!

Very nice explanations. And I add two things for primary school students. 1)C tuning makes it C instrument which easier to play on key of C and produce best sound in C. 2)C tuning can play easy on F and G, which have fewer accidentals too.

dhbailey
01-29-2017, 11:16 PM
I'm confused as to why you labeled the cello "G" -- it is tuned exactly an octave lower than the viola, with the lowest string being a C. So if a viola is "C" then so should the cello be the same. And why is the Bass a G instrument -- it's lowest string is tuned to E and it's tuned like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar, in 4ths.

zztush
01-30-2017, 12:08 AM
hi, dhbailey. Thank you very much.

double bass is same as guitar's lower 4 strings. The tuning is G same as guitar.

I change cello to C thank you very much dhbailey!! ^^

CeeJay
02-23-2017, 01:54 PM
I must be missing something when it comes to playing a blues harmonica. Guys I used to play in a band with would use an A when we played in E key; a C when we played in G key etc.


That's " Crossharping " and is particular to the blues when you draw more on the second position notes to get the lovely bends and wails peculiar to Blues Harp. You pick a harmonica that is 5 whole notes down from the key so in the key of G ...down 5 to C etc.

zztush
02-23-2017, 09:40 PM
Thank you CeeJay!

Yes, it is crossharp or 2nd position.

When the song key is G, we use the harp of key of C.
The G blues scale is: G, Bb, C, Db, D, F, G. We can easily get these notes on C harp with draw and draw bend (See the figure below). When we use it in blues, we mainly draw, it is cool.

https://s19.postimg.org/r9lme1c77/C_Major_Harmonica_1st_Position_Blues.gif (https://postimg.org/image/jguym267z/)images upload (https://postimage.org/)

I like to play "I'll play the blues for you" by Albert King. It's key is G. I play it with my C harp and I draw as much as I can. ^^

I play this blues on key of G on my ukulele too. G is very nice for blues because we can use 2nd strings for root, it is easy for solo. G may be the best key for blues on ukulele.

CeeJay
02-24-2017, 01:07 AM
Thank you CeeJay!

Yes, it is crossharp or 2nd position.

When the song key is G, we use the harp of key of C.
The G blues scale is: G, Bb, C, Db, D, F, G. We can easily get these notes on C harp with draw and draw bend (See the figure below). When we use it in blues, we mainly draw, it is cool.

https://s19.postimg.org/r9lme1c77/C_Major_Harmonica_1st_Position_Blues.gif (https://postimg.org/image/jguym267z/)images upload (https://postimage.org/)

I like to play "I'll play the blues for you" by Albert King. It's key is G. I play it with my C harp and I draw as much as I can. ^^

I play this blues on key of G on my ukulele too. G is very nice for blues because we can use 2nd strings for root, it is easy for solo. G may be the best key for blues on ukulele.

Actually I find A to be the better key . G is cool....but for me (and it is personal choice really, Blues is played from the heart ,not the head ) I like A . So that would be D harp for cross or straight A as in this one I did...great fun....I play a lot of blues ..badly ...but a lot :cool::biglaugh:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125875-Can-t-Stand-The-Rain&p=1944113#post1944113 by way of an idea .

ProfChris
02-24-2017, 03:09 AM
There are two incorrect assumptions throughout this discussion:

1. The modern "standard" tuning has always been this way. Not so. Go back to the heyday of the uke in the 1920s/1930s and sopranos were tuned D, concerts C and tenors Bb. Baritones came along later, tuned G.

2. The uke was a transposing instrument, in some senses of the term. Look at popular sheet music from the 20s/30s which include uke chords. There is usually an instruction how to tune the uke for that song (and these will be soprano tunings): the suggested tunings range from Bb through to Eb. So for a song in Eb the music would normally show the uke tuned in Eb, but played using shapes which we would now describe as C shapes.

By all means teach students that C is a good tuning to learn, but the reasons are (1) convention, for playing with other ukuleles and reading modern chord charts, (2) ease of learning the C scale in music notation. Don't teach them that this is what the instrument was designed for because, except for the concert uke, it's just not true.

CeeJay
02-24-2017, 04:22 AM
There are two incorrect assumptions throughout this discussion:

1. The modern "standard" tuning has always been this way. Not so. Go back to the heyday of the uke in the 1920s/1930s and sopranos were tuned D, concerts C and tenors Bb. Baritones came along later, tuned G.

2. The uke was a transposing instrument, in some senses of the term. Look at popular sheet music from the 20s/30s which include uke chords. There is usually an instruction how to tune the uke for that song (and these will be soprano tunings): the suggested tunings range from Bb through to Eb. So for a song in Eb the music would normally show the uke tuned in Eb, but played using shapes which we would now describe as C shapes.

By all means teach students that C is a good tuning to learn, but the reasons are (1) convention, for playing with other ukuleles and reading modern chord charts, (2) ease of learning the C scale in music notation. Don't teach them that this is what the instrument was designed for because, except for the concert uke, it's just not true.

Endorsed .

Rllink
02-24-2017, 06:58 AM
I read these tuning threads whenever they show up, and that is quite often, and it is always a bit confusing to me why people are so hung up on it. I'll also admit that I don't go out and try to figure it out. But I understand that my ukulele is tuned C when it is played open strings, but then beyond that, as soon as I fret a string, it no longer necessarily is. I guess that it is my understanding that I can play in any key on my C tuned ukulele. I know that is true, because a C is a C no matter what key I'm playing in. And an A is an A, a B is a B, and so on. The determining factor for me is what keys I can sing in, not what keys I can play in on my ukulele, and I can sing in three or four of them, and I don't have to change the tuning of my ukulele to play a song in any of them. I also know that just because you are playing a Bb trumpet, you are not restricted to songs in Bb. Or an alto Saxophone, or for that matter, a G tuned Baritone ukulele, or an E tuned guitar. So I know that there is something that I'm missing here, but I don't know what it is. What benefit comes from all these different tunings? So if I could be enlightened, just to know what one expects to gain from a different tuning, I would appreciate it. And maybe it would make these tuning threads more interesting and less confusing.

Jim Hanks
02-24-2017, 07:28 AM
What benefit comes from all these different tunings? So if I could be enlightened, just to know what one expects to gain from a different tuning, I would appreciate it. And maybe it would make these tuning threads more interesting and less confusing.
Range for one thing. DGBE baritone is almost a whole octave lower than gCEA soprano. Bb tenor or D soprano is less drastic but the same principle. String tension is another, whether you want lower tension for tenor so tune to Bb or higher tension for soprano so tune to D.

zztush
02-24-2017, 11:10 AM
Hi, Rllink! Thank you for the reply!

We need to check your point on our ukulele. If we play a song of key of C on our GCEA ukulele, it is easy. Just try half step down and make GbBEbAb ukulele. The chords changes to like the figures below.

https://s19.postimg.org/rw6qyc4xv/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/gwljmqein/)upload gif from url (https://postimage.org/)

It is very difficult to play. We normally do not much care about the key of instrumets, but it is important too. Same thing happens on other instruments too. Bb trumpet, piano, guitar.....

Rllink
02-25-2017, 05:16 AM
Hi, Rllink! Thank you for the reply!

We need to check your point on our ukulele. If we play a song of key of C on our GCEA ukulele, it is easy. Just try half step down and make GbBEbAb ukulele. The chords changes to like the figures below.

https://s19.postimg.org/rw6qyc4xv/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/gwljmqein/)upload gif from url (https://postimage.org/)

It is very difficult to play. We normally do not much care about the key of instrumets, but it is important too. Same thing happens on other instruments too. Bb trumpet, piano, guitar.....I don't understand what point you are making here, and what those chord shapes have to do with it. Those are basically movable chords that one can play up and down the neck. Pretty much chapter 3 in the ukulele fretboard roadmap. Do you tune your ukulele to a different key so that you don't have to play those?

jollyboy
02-25-2017, 05:50 AM
I don't understand what point you are making here, and what those chord shapes have to do with it. Those are basically movable chords that one can play up and down the neck. Pretty much chapter 3 in the ukulele fretboard roadmap. Do you tune your ukulele to a different key so that you don't have to play those?

The point is that it's easier to form the shapes for C F and G7 on a C-tuned uke. And these three chords can be used to play one of the commonest progressions in one of the commonest keys (C). And... it's easier to teach basic music theory using the C major scale. All of this, of course, relates to beginning players.

Rllink
02-25-2017, 06:34 AM
The point is that it's easier to form the shapes for C F and G7 on a C-tuned uke. And these three chords can be used to play one of the commonest progressions in one of the commonest keys (C). And... it's easier to teach basic music theory using the C major scale. All of this, of course, relates to beginning players.I understand that, although I didn't understand that was the point that zztush was trying to make. So what benefit comes with open tuning the ukulele to D or Bb? That's my question. I'm good with C tuning.

Pirate Jim
02-25-2017, 07:10 AM
The main benefit is to get the best resonance out of your instrument. Have a read of the Southcoast Ukes pages on tuning for the best resonance - they put it better than I ever could.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/tunings.htm

CeeJay
02-25-2017, 08:20 AM
I understand that, although I didn't understand that was the point that zztush was trying to make. So what benefit comes with open tuning the ukulele to D or Bb? That's my question. I'm good with C tuning.

I think that the "open" tuning phrase is the problem. "Open Tuning" means that the uke will play a D chord strummed open. If you tune the uke to ADF#B (D6 tuning)and fret the same shapes as you would in GCEA (C6 tuning) then the shape simply plays a whole tone higher . Therefore you can play tunes in D and G and probably A , easier with more friendly chord shapes . Bb Eb G C same thing for tunes in the key of Eb and Bb. Except just a half note up.

The standard tuning didn't really exist decades ago , tunes for uke told you which tuning to use. My old tutor from the seventies (which was probably wrtten in the thirties !!) used ADF#B as the default.

I think ( without wishing to sound contentious)that there is a slight element of overthinking this little instrument going on here. Plus it also depends on how and what style you want to play it in. If you want to finger pick then any tuning will do ,just learn where the notes are. If you are a "simplified" strummer , by which I mean you don't go for the fans ,triples and split etc, then again GCEA will probably do you until you want to extend your variety.
If you want to go for the more complex strums then changing the tuning will give you the optimum chord shapes for the best resonation and reaction to the complex strums in the given key. Some of these strums and their sound generation don't just use the right hand but rely on input from the left hand "working" the chords. A form of "pulsing" or lifting on and off very quickly will enhance the strum sound. This is why Formby and Smeck etc used different tunings, not simply because Formby couldn't read music. He didn't need to, he used the chord shapes as the vast majority of ukers do. Well certainly as a starting point if they are starting from absolute ground zero.That's the beauty of the uke. If you then want to you can learn staff .

Simply put ....If you play 0003 on a GCEA uke then it is a C . 0003 on a ADF#B uke is D.0003 on a BbEbGC uke is Eb (half a step or only one fret worth of change ) So . If you get a Chord Chart that shows the shapes for the key of C (GCEA) then you only have to move them up two steps C -Db -D 0003to get chord shapes for D tuning.
Similarly 2010 -F becomes G F - F# -G etc , half a step for BbEbGC tuning...D -Eb 0003 .Then if you get a song that is impossible to play in GCEA because it is written with loads of flats and has some seriously difficult chord shapes ...change the key of the uke . Read the chord names and adapt to the chord shapes for that key. Then off you go.

zztush
02-25-2017, 01:20 PM
Thank you for asking Rllink!


I understand that, although I didn't understand that was the point that zztush was trying to make. So what benefit comes with open tuning the ukulele to D or Bb? That's my question. I'm good with C tuning.

The reason why you did not understand my answer is that I did not explain the benefit of D and Bb tuning (Figures below), and I explained demerit of D and Bb tuning.

https://s19.postimg.org/bg7xpgrgj/combine_images2.png (https://postimg.org/image/en2h93bwf/)image uploading (https://postimage.org/)

The less # or b, the more simple the music, the more playabilty, the better sound at any level of players.
We are talking about the benefit of Standard (C) tuning here and I think there are not much benefit of D or Bb tuning. We haven't talk about open D tuning here. Open D tuning is different from D tuning. Some people say that D and Bb tuning sound better. But it is only when they play key of D or Bb (Figure below).

https://s19.postimg.org/si0rrk6bn/key_signatures_chart.gif (https://postimg.org/image/5tbkrzoxr/)free adult image hosting (https://pixxxels.org/)

And D or Bb tuning string instruments do not resonant with other C or G tuning string instruments. We have already talked about this in other thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125421-Why-soprano-concert-and-tenor-are-C-and-bariton-is-G-tuning) before. String instruments are tuned in C or G, which have perfect 5th interval, in order to resonant each other. Hence All of the string instruments has tuned in C or G in orchestra and even guitars and ukulele. Standard tuning bring us better playability. I've explained it in previous post in this thread. Standard tuning is easy to play C, G and F keys. Playability directly connects to sounds in any level of players.

I know you are good with C tuning. I think you don't need D or Bb tuning.

In classical music, they have music key in the title of the music like Beethoven Symphony 5 C minor. C minor is very stressed key opposed to C major, wich is the brightest key in 12 keys. This music is best with C minor key. But we don't have any keys in the title of our songs on our ukulele. There is no Amazing grace D major or Old Folks at Home Bb major. You and I trasfer most of the songs to C or G. It prduces best sound.

CeeJay
02-25-2017, 10:40 PM
" You and I trasfer most of the songs to C or G. It prduces best sound. "


Sorry,but I really believe that is a matter of opinion. It also depends on what instrument you are playing . As has been said before and seemingly ignored, the ukulele that is the original and best ,the soprano (in my humble opinion) used to be tuned three different ways ,depending on the key of the tune but there is no acknowledgement of this in this thread. To me the current modern standard choice of gCEA or GCEA is arbitrary and slightly lazy, if not convenient. But different strokes for different folks ,quite literally in some cases. You may want to just play in the two keys of C or Gas the chords are relatively easily shaped. But no they don't produce the "best" sound and is why after a while some ukulele bands start to sound a bit "samey".

To argue about string tension is something I don't get, because , well,the uke is hardly an egg slicer in terms of string tension, even
in Eb tuning . Although on a Tenor it might be getting a bit taut ,but then I think that the Tenor is getting into small guitar range anyway and tends to be played more guitar like and less as a Uke of the heyday of the first and second wave.

So perhaps in the end I think that this does come down to whatever floats ton bateaux. If you want to stay in standard tuning then do and if you want to change tuning then do so . And at the end of the day I don't suppose what key you are in ...a C chord however shaped is still a C chord. On a D uke it is the same shape as Bb on a C uke. So it probably makes no odds. Might even add a nice texture to the sound . I might try a recording and no one has to listen to it LOL:biglaugh: Over and Out.

zztush
02-26-2017, 12:10 AM
Thank you very much for your reply, CeeJay!


" You and I trasfer most of the songs to C or G. It prduces best sound. "
Sorry,but I really believe that is a matter of opinion.


I think that the less # or b, the more simple the music, the more playability, the better sound. This is true for any level of players with any instruments. I am singing and playing ukulele as accompaniment. I have not many songs better sound other than on the keys of C, G and F so far for my play. I play Smoke on the Water on the key of Gm. I play I'll play the blues for you on the key of Gm. They are some exceptions on blues scale.

I thought movable chords may have an advantage of particular key. I am playing "Do you want to know a secret" on E. It has G#m, Gm, F#m which are movable chords. I also play it on the key of C. It turns to Em, D#m, Dm. Key of E doesn't have any advantage on this. This is my experience.

Rllink
02-26-2017, 02:44 AM
I read Dirk's essay on the Southcoast site and it was interesting. I don't want to sound argumentative or judgemental about anything. Sometimes I think that I do come off that way. I really don't care what anyone else does with their ukuleles, I just often wonder why. So that is what I'm wondering actually. I am on a musical journey. That is how I explain it to people. And on this journey there are a lot of little side roads that I can go down. I discover a lot of them right here on UU. Sometimes I go down them and they make me a better ukulele player. A lot of them just turn into dead ends and go nowhere, and already I seem to have started down this road in the last couple of days. So that is why I'm asking all the questions about this. My question started out as what benefits come from the different tunings. But I'm not sure that is what I'm wondering now, as so far the resonance thing it all that has resonated with me. I wonder now why individual ukulele players go down this road? What are they as individuals looking to achieve? What journey are they on that takes them down this road and I wonder if I want to go down it myself?

Pirate Jim
02-26-2017, 06:48 AM
This is a road I recently travelled and I just found I much preferred the sound of my tenor at Bb tuning. I'm swapping back and forth between C and D on my soprano at the moment but it got me playing tenor again when I had gone off it as I thought it sounded a bit choked or thin for a uke of its size and quality. It was also fun to transpose and learn more about music theory - I'm much better at transposing songs on the fly to fit the vocal range of a singer than I was before playing with different tunings. I say do it - the worst that happens is you learn something. Whether it's that you like the other tunings or not you've still learned and, in my book, that's all good!